AUSTIN (KXAN) — Samsung’s newest manufacturing plant in Taylor, Texas, will produce the company’s most advanced computer chips to date.
State and local leaders say this project is important for national security, helping the country become less reliant on semiconductors made in other countries.
Tuesday’s announcement comes amid a a major shortage of the micro-chip that most people use every day.
“You can’t get chips to be put into cars, so cars actually can’t be assembled and produced. You can’t even get a Baby Yoda animatronic because of a shortage of chips,” says Edward Anderson, the Wright Centennial Professor for Management of Innovative Technology at the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business.
It’s the same for many products at Austin MacWorks.
“We’ve had computers that we ordered back in May, early as July, that still have yet to be shipped to us,” says Avery Jimes, a repair technician there.
Last month, Apple said they lost $6 billion in potential sales due to a computer chip shortage, according to CNBC.
Jimes says that’s also the reason the company gave them for some delayed orders, which have also affected their repairs — saying it sometimes takes up to a month for certain repairs that would normally have been done overnight.
Anderson, a supply chain expert, says Samsung’s new $17 billion plant in Williamson County will help expand capacity.
“We in the U.S. only produce about 12% of semiconductor chips overall, and almost 0% of the leading edge ones,” he says.
Samsung’s new plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2025, according to Williamson County.
Anderson says he sees Taylor-made chips making a difference in supply about a year after that.
Texas congressman John Cornyn authored the CHIPS for America Act last year to bring more chip production to the U.S, through measures like federal grants for building, expanding or updating semiconductor plants here. The bill passed but is still awaiting funding.